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Tag Archive: Use of Force

Delegating Commander-in-Chief Powers–Where to strike the balance


The Trump Administration is busy reconsidering the United States’ approach to counterterrorism, and its revised policies will assuredly reflect President Trump’s desire to delegate more authority to his military commanders.  Hidden amid the wall-to-wall coverage of L’Affaire Russe and the President’s first international trip, however, are recent press reports that suggest the Department of Defense may be of two minds about being provided “total authorization” to conduct counterterrorism operations.  This hesitation makes sense.  Although the Pentagon and others have been seeking greater delegations in order to improve operational flexibility and efficiency, U.S.…   continue »

The Fuzzy Scope of the Forever War Needs Definition

For years now, the questions of where and with whom exactly the United States is at war have been treated as somewhat academic. It’s not that they didn’t matter, but a gridlocked Congress seemed unwilling or unable to take the issue on or to pass a law clarifying the Obama administration’s authority to use force in any meaningful way.…   continue »

Two Questions for Stephen Preston

As Marty has already written, the Department of Defense’s General Counsel Stephen Preston gave a speech tonight at the American Society of International Law “the Legal Framework for the United States’ Use of Military Force Since 9/11.”  Having strategically placed myself next to one of the microphones tantalizingly set up for what I assumed would be a Q and A session to follow the remarks, I was surprised when Preston exited without taking questions from the audience.  …   continue »

International Law and Cyber Attacks: Sony v. North Korea

It could only happen in the movies. A major Hollywood company produces a film starring well-known comedic actors which involves the tongue-in-cheek assassination of the leader of a remote and rather bizarre dictatorship. The “supreme leader” apparently orders a secret group of cyber warriors calling themselves “The Guardians of Peace” (in actuality, the State-run “Bureau 121”) to retaliate by attacking the company’s IT system.…   continue »